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COVID-19 Resource Centre

COVID-19 Resource Centre

The health and safety of King’s students, faculty and staff remain our highest priority, and it is vital we all do our part to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Nova Scotia remains in a state of emergency and our campus is closed. However, we are still operational and offer pertinent information to help you stay informed, whether you’re a student, future student, staff or faculty member. We also share a chronological series of updates that have been emailed to our community members.

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Community updates

May 20 — Letter to returning students about the fall 2020 term

Dear King’s Students,

We are writing to provide you with the most information we can at this time about our plans for teaching and learning in the coming fall term.

We know from the emails we have received from a number of you, as well as from the continuing advocacy on your behalf by the KSU, that our plans, along with those of Dalhousie, are a major matter of concern and worry for you, which adds to the many other kinds of worry and uncertainty we all face as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Faculty, our academic programs, and the University, in collaboration with colleagues at Dalhousie, have been working continuously for weeks to make the decisions that would allow us to give you meaningful information on how our academic mission will be conducted in 2020/2021.

In addition to the necessity of this ongoing work, the continuing uncertainty about the public health conditions and directives that will apply in September and beyond has constrained our ability to make decisions about the coming academic year. That uncertainty, while abating in positive directions, remains. As a result, we are still not able to provide all the information we would like to provide or answer all the questions you may have. In this memo, you will find the information we can currently and confidently share. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

As has been the case since the beginning of this pandemic, our fundamental and overarching concerns are your health and safety, and that of our faculty and staff, and of the broader community of Halifax. Within that context, we are equally motivated by our determination to ensure your learning at King’s continues to be of the high and inspiring quality to which you have been accustomed and which you rightly expect. A further consideration of high importance is alignment of our plans with those of Dalhousie, especially in the faculties of arts and social science, and of science, so that you and your families have as much clarity as possible to make decisions (such as where you will live) in the coming year.

With these key considerations in mind, our academic programs have all agreed that they will be offering their courses online in September. This is–with some exceptions that will most likely not apply to King’s students–the same decision that has been made by Dalhousie. Based on evolving public health conditions, some in-person teaching may be delivered in the winter term in ways that comply with public health directives on physical distancing and the size of gatherings. But if this happens, it will happen in ways that will allow you to continue to take any course at King’s you want to take through distance (online) learning. In other words, if your preference is to continue your studies online throughout both semesters in the coming year, you will be able to do that at King’s.

We are also working on a plan to reopen our campus to first allow staff and faculty and then students to be once again physically on campus, if you so choose. This plan is being developed to ensure compliance with the public health requirements on physical distancing and limiting the size of gatherings that are likely to remain in effect over the coming year in Nova Scotia and across Canada. It is our objective to have the plan in effect before September 1 so that we can better ensure the quality of our online teaching through the access to facilities, resources and supports that faculty will have if the campus were open.

The reopening of the campus will also allow you to work and see each other on campus and receive support on campus through face-to-face interaction with faculty, staff and each other. This may include a limited number of rooms in residence for returning students. We believe reopening the campus in this way, under public health protocols, may be a good option for some of you who believe your technology and other academic needs can be better met by living on or in proximity to campus with the support we can then provide to you. We hope the availability of this option will help to address some of the equity issues that we recognize are inherent in online teaching and learning. Again, however, we wish to stress that you will be fully and equally supported by our faculty, staff and programs if you are completing courses from a distance.

We assure you the courses we will offer in the fall are being developed for learning in an online context. They will be different from in-person courses but that does not mean they will be lesser versions of those courses. As a university community, we long to be back together, just as we were before March 13, 2020. But just as you know that in-person courses are not great simply because they are offered in person, you can imagine or perhaps know by experience that online teaching and learning varies in quality from course to course and from teacher to teacher. At King’s, our online courses will be of high quality for the same reason as our in-person courses are– they will be taught by your wonderful professors who will be totally committed to your learning needs. Technology will enable that, and at the same time, we’ll do all we can to ensure it does not get in the way of it.

An additional consideration in our decision to begin the year with online teaching and learning and to commit to allowing you to continue with online learning for the entirety of the year to come is that we know that these are very challenging economic times. The year ahead may be financially difficult for you and possibly for your family. We want you to know that in addition to the bursaries King’s always offers to students with financial need, we are also offering supplementary funding to help students facing financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated public health measures governments have taken to address the pandemic. These bursaries are meant to supplement the support being provided through the governmental responses to student need in the form of both student employment and student loans. We urge you to complete the bursary form [PDF] and talk to our Registrar’s Office by emailing Catherine Read in the Registrar’s Office at catherine.read@ukings.ca to talk about your situation if you think you may need one of these bursaries.

If you have any questions about any of what we have covered in this letter, please reach out to Bill at william.lahey@ukings.ca or Peter at peter.obrien@ukings.ca, or our Registrar’s Office by contacting Julie Green at julie.green@ukings.ca.

We end by leaving you with two thoughts. The first is to urge you to continue your university career if doing so is feasible for you in the coming year. We are confident that in this time of physical distancing and limited gatherings, you will be healthier and happier if you carry on with preparing yourself for the future. Our society needs you preparing yourself for that future more than ever before.

Our second thought is to simply send our best wishes for safety, health and well-being to you and your loved ones as we all continue to do our part to get through our current situation together, with concern and love for each other, all vulnerable people, and those who work to protect and serve us at this time.

William LaheyPeter O’Brien
President and Vice ChancellorVice President

 

May 15 — Letter to incoming FYP students about the fall 2020 term

I am delighted to know you are considering the King’s Foundation Year Program (FYP) as your first step in acquiring an exceptional university education at King’s and Dalhousie. Your interest in FYP will naturally reflect your own understanding of what makes FYP remarkable and distinctive. It is our experience that FYP does what a first-year of university should do, which is to prepare you for success in the rest of your degree and in life beyond your degree. As summed up by FYP Acting Director Dr. Susan Dodd and her colleagues, “You really can’t get a better start to an undergraduate degree and you only have to ask anyone who has been through FYP to know why”.

I recently received a note from Michele Sanders, a King’s parent, who wrote about her daughter Bethany’s FYP experience:

“Our family welcomed our daughter back from her FYP experience a month ago. She is hale and hearty, and perhaps even more importantly, she is full to the brim with a new confidence and fresh insights into literature, history, and current events. Despite a fall hurricane, a winter blizzard, and a spring plague, she has had an excellent year. We sincerely hope she will be joining her FYP friends again in September.”

In the meantime, a sincere thank you to all the excellent professors and staff at Kings. Your devotion and care of your students is clear, and deeply appreciated.”

On a similar theme, we recently conducted a survey of our alumni to find out what they are doing in life and how they reflect on their time at King’s. Ninety-five percent say they would come to King’s again if they had the chance. The survey also showed that our graduates are doing remarkably well in a wide range of careers and in making a difference in the world. Overwhelmingly, they attribute that success to their education at King’s and in FYP more particularly. We invite you to read more about our alumni and their perspective on the difference that FYP and King’s have made in their lives in an article in an article written by Assistant Registrar Dr. Yolana Wassersug.

Ultimately, however, FYP is about self-knowledge, knowledge of our world, and of each student’s place in that world through the careful and attentive reading and discussion of books that shape our world and our understanding of it. It is a communal intellectual journey. As Dr. Neil Robertson, (FYP Director currently on leave) is fond of saying, the purpose of that journey is not to make you a liberal or a conservative or any other kind of person, other than your true self. As T.S. Eliot puts it, it is instead to “not cease from exploration”, knowing “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”.

The truth of this wisdom is only accentuated in the global pandemic that has caused so much disruption, disappointment and uncertainty in your life. I know this raises questions for you about whether FYP will be online or in-person this year and whether it will be as good online as it would be in-person. Although the situation is a fluid one, changing with the pandemic and public health directives, I want to answer those questions as fully as I can with the information we now have. We anticipate making our formal announcement very soon. Meanwhile, we want to give as much information as we can today.

While final formal decisions remain under review, faculty are preparing to make FYP available in the coming academic year as a holistic online experience that incorporates the intense community building that is always at the centre of the FYP experience. This will be to ensure your safety and health and that of our faculty and staff and fellow students. But equally, it will be to ensure that FYP– in all its richness– is available to you and others who are searching to understand where we are. It is particularly important that we come together now to explore timeless questions such as what it is to be human, what it means to live in community, and how to make sense of a world in time of uncertainty.

The truth of this need to seek together will be accentuated, and not reduced, in the coming year. At a time when most university education will be online, FYP will uniquely unite you with other FYP students through the common experience of giving care and attention to the same important books, and on the same schedule. As it always does, FYP will give structure and rhythm to your transition from high school to university. Unlike other first year offerings, which could see you taking as many as 10 different courses over two terms, you will take one or two electives (depending on your degree choice) and then FYP. In this way, FYP will immerse you in a single, curated, cohesive and interdisciplinary curriculum. You will also be challenged and supported as you explore the readings with a small number of academic tutors. These tutors will meet with you and about eight other students either four times a week (for FYP Arts and Journalism) or three times a week (for FYP Science).

FYP tutorials, which if offered online would be reduced from their normal size of about 15, will ensure that the FYP experience continues to be defined by our tutors’ care and attention to the complex and personalized needs you may have as you follow the ambitious FYP curriculum. Just as they do when FYP is fully on campus, these tutorials will pull you into a stable community of learned discussion, mutual support and friendship. You will indeed be supported by our Associate Director of Student Support (Dr. Susan Dodd), several tutors (one of whom will stay with you through the year as your “main tutor”) , our writing coach, Dean of Students (Katie Merwin), and the full range of formal and informal supports we always provide to our students on King’s campus and in collaboration with Dalhousie.

In all of these and in other ways, I promise that this year’s FYP, however it is delivered, will give you and your fellow FYP students what it gave to Bethany: “a new confidence and fresh insights into literature, history, and current events,” when that is perhaps more important than ever.

I want to also share the following further general information with you:

1. For those of you considering FYP Journalism, I want you to know that our faculty in the School of Journalism are also preparing to offer Fundamentals of Journalism online. This means that the entirety of your first-year program would be available to you.

2. For those of you contemplating FYP Arts or FYP Science, we anticipate announcements will be coming from Dalhousie very soon, and well before you are required to register. Meanwhile, we are confident that through our partnership we will continue to provide you the opportunities you need to take the other courses you may want to combine with FYP. For those of you in FYP Arts who may be interested in taking History of Science and Technology first year courses at King’s, which also will be offered online.

3. We are currently working on a plan to reopen our campus. This plan is being developed to ensure compliance with public health requirements on the physical distancing and limiting the size of gatherings that are likely to remain in effect over the coming year in Nova Scotia and across Canada. When it is safe to do so, we will welcome students into residences, for those who want a residential experience to complement their online learning. These requirements will likely mean that we will have to limit the number of students in residence to ensure the safety of everyone. We believe that living in residence, even though teaching and learning is happening online, may be a good option for some students who believe their technology and other academic needs can be better met by living on campus with the support we can provide to them.

4. If conditions change and it looks possible for some elements of FYP to be offered in-person, or to allow a larger number of students to be accommodated in residence, we will make those adjustments. But I want to assure you that this would only be done in such a way as to allow you to continue to fully experience FYP online, if that were your preference.

5. In addition to the bursaries King’s always offers to students based on financial need, we are also offering supplementary funding to help students facing financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated public health measures governments have taken to address the pandemic. These bursaries are meant to supplement the support being provided through the governmental responses to student need in the form of both student employment and student loans. I urge you to complete the bursary form [PDF] and talk to our Registrar’s Office by emailing Catherine Reid in the Registrar’s Office at catherine.read@ukings.ca to talk about your situation if you think you may need one of these bursaries.

If you have any questions about any of what I have covered in this letter, please reach out to me at william.lahey@ukings.ca or directly to our Registrar’s Office by contacting Julie Green at julie.green@ukings.ca or Yolana Wassersug at yolana.wassersug@ukings.ca.

I end by leaving you with two thoughts. The first is to urge you not to delay the start of your university career if going to university this year is an option for you, whether you decide to register at King’s or another university. I am confident that in this time of physical distancing and limited gatherings, you will be healthier and happier if you carry on with preparing yourself for the future.

My second thought is to simply send my best wishes for safety, health and well-being to you and your loved ones as we all continue to do our part to get through our current situation together, with concern and love for each other, all vulnerable people, and those who work to protect and serve us at this time.

Yours truly,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of King’s College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2A1
P:
902.422.1271 ext. 121
C: 902.456-4764
F: 902.423-3357
E: william.lahey@ukings.ca

April 9 — Updated process on changing Winter 2020 grades to PASS/ILL

Dear King’s students,

We hope you are all coping as well as possible in these difficult times. We continue to be here to support you as you navigate the end of term.

Below you will find updated information related to end-of-term grade options and procedures, the details of which we have been working with our colleagues at Dalhousie to confirm and finalize over the past couple of weeks. If you have not already done so, please be sure to go back and read the March 26 – New Grade Options for Winter Term (below) for more background around grading options.

Once your grades are posted, if you accept them you do not have to do anything. Do not fill out a waiver form.

What to know about PASS/ILL:

  • A PASS option is available to you if pass your course but do not feel your final grade is reflective of your overall performance. The ILL option (which reflects “compassionate reasons or illness”) is available to you if you do not pass your course.
  • PASS will not be included in GPA calculations (“GPA neutral”); credit will still be earned for the course.
  • ILL will not be included in GPA calculations; credit will not be earned for the course.
  • Your original letter grade will not appear on your official transcript. There will always be a record of your original letter grade earned if you ever need it (i.e. application for graduate schools) via DARS (degree audit system).
  • A PASS grade may not automatically fulfil prerequisite requirements (see below)
  • Minimum grade required for a PASS is dependent upon your Program. If you are unsure what minimum grade is required, please contact your program directly (e.g. Journalism, Contemporary Studies, Early Modern Studies).

Process to change your grade to PASS/ILL:

  • Submit the waiver form to change your grade(s) to PASS/ILL after ALL your final grades have been posted. Requests will not be considered until all your grades have been posted in Dal Online.
  • The process to do this will be available in Dal Online starting April 15, 2020.
  • To access the waiver form, log in to your Dal Online account and choose Student Records>Academic Record. Click on the link at the top of the page and complete the required information in the waiver application.
  • Once you submit your waiver, an academic advisor will reach out to you via your dal.ca email to discuss your options.
  • For potential graduates, waivers should be submitted by May 8, 2020.
  • For all other students, waivers should be submitted by June 1, 2020.

Prerequisites:

  • PASS will count as having achieved basic prerequisite requirements. However, a PASS will not automatically be accepted as a prerequisite for courses where a minimum grade is required (e.g. a C or above in the prerequisite course). Prerequisites with minimum grade requirements will be assessed using the final grade you received in your course. Your advisor can inform you about the process for requesting instructor permission if your final grade is below the minimum requirement for a course.
  • ILL will not count as having achieved any prerequisite requirements, as the credit was not successfully earned.

Repeat policy:

  • The repeat policy will be applied to the letter grades earned, as usual.
  • PASS: if you have repeated a class and want the neutral grade included in the GPA calculation, indicate this on the waiver form when you make your request to have your grade changed to a PASS.
  • ILL: ILL grades are not included in the GPA calculation and cannot replace the grade of the course you took previously.

Scholarships:

  • For upper-year undergraduate students (i.e. second year and beyond), renewable/consideration criteria will remain the same: a 3.7 GPA for full time students. A PASS grade is a credit and will count towards required credit hours, but it will not be used in the calculation of your GPA. For students in the Foundation Year Program,​scholarship criteria remain the same. While you may take a PASS if you wish, you must receive a letter grade (B+ and above) in the Foundation Year Program to be considered for a scholarship. ​ Please note, in response to COVID-19 additional bursary funding will be available for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • There is an appeal process in place for students who may not meet conditions for retaining renewable scholarships. Appeals should be sent to Catherine Read at catherine.read@ukings.ca by September 1st for consideration by the Scholarships Committee.

Academic standing:

  • Academic standing will be assessed starting in May (i.e. dismissals, probation, Dean’s List, etc.).
  • As is normally the case, students who have completed at least 24 credit hours and receive a standing of “academic probation” or “academic dismissal” will be informed by communications from the Registrar’s Office.
  • If you have requested any change of grades to ILL and/or PASS, your standing will be reassessed once these changes are processed.

You may have other questions regarding this process. This is why, if you submit a waiver form, your advisor will reach out via your Dal email. We are requiring students to meet with an advisor prior to finalizing any academic decisions.

Registrar’s Office
University of King’s College

March 27 — President Lahey’s message to students

Dear King’s students,

I have many messages I want share with you. At the top of the list is my desire to tell you how immensely proud I am of all of you. Much has been asked of you and your families in the last two weeks. You have shouldered massive changes and disappointments and yet you have transitioned with us quickly, offering your support to our collective effort of fighting the spread of this virus. You have done this in the best King’s tradition, by also offering support and friendship to one another at this difficult time.

As ever, the health and safety of King’s community remain our highest priority, and it is vital that we continue to show our willingness to do our part as citizens and a community to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

As you know, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on Sunday. The province’s new measures mean Nova Scotia’s borders have been tightened to travellers at all entry points and anyone entering the province needs to self-isolate for 14 days. 

I want to emphasize an important exception to this rule, which is that entrance to Nova Scotia is allowed for the pick-up of a post-secondary student provided the travel is direct to the post-secondary institution or off-campus residence. Travellers should self-isolate if they stay in Nova Scotia overnight and again for 14 days when they go home.​

At King’s, we achieved social distancing compliance because of you and your efforts. I am grateful to you and your families for working with our Dean of Students and the dons to cooperatively leave our residences so quickly. Our residences are now nearly empty, and it is because of this that we are better able to offer a higher level of safety to the six remaining students who, for a variety of reasons, are simply unable to leave.

And to those of you living off-campus, we appreciate the support you are giving to this collective effort by deciding where best to ride this out and to also doing all that is necessary to keep yourself and others safe.

While pride and gratitude overwhelm my feelings, I acknowledge what is at the heart of this difficult transition. I know this is a tremendously disruptive time and that many of you are filled with profound sadness.

No matter what year you are in or how long you have been a member of this community, this abrupt and unexpected change to the close of our year together has been exceedingly hard for all of us. The rights of passage of each year that do so much to cement our life-long attachment to each other have been taken away from us, and especially from all of you. We understand this and share your sadness and disappointment. We are working on ways of lightening our hearts and bringing us together in new ways.

For example, in addition to starting on-line delivery of FYP this week, FYP faculty began to share “FYP Letters” for FYP students and the wider community, to help us all come together. If you have not yet taken a look, you can find it on the King’s website at ukings.ca/fyp-letters.

For my part, I address myself particularly to the graduating class of 2020. While I cannot pretend to know exactly what you are feeling, I can say unequivocally that I too am heartbroken about our inability to celebrate Encaenia as planned on May 29. Of all our College celebrations, Encaenia is the most special – the day on which I am most grateful to be part of the King’s community and its traditions. This year was to be special for me in a particular way. Many of you started at King’s when I did; your move-in day was my first move-in day. I cannot express how much I was looking forward to once again being together with you and your families, and all our graduates and their families, to celebrate what we started together.

And so, to you, the class of 2020, whenever you started at King’s and whatever your degree, I make a personal promise. I give you my word that, whatever it takes and however long it takes, we will have Encaenia for the class of 2020 when it is safe for you and for our whole community to celebrate with you. And like all of our Encaenias, it will be a grand and glorious celebration.

As you work to finish your school year, we will continue to communicate with you regularly. You can always get the most up-to-date information at ukings.ca/coronavirus. There will be regular communications from members of the college. You will be in contact with your professors. And, at a minimum, I will be sending regular Friday updates as we go through this unprecedented period in history together.

At King’s we have a bond and we are a community, not only for our time together at King’s but for life. The fact that we are now scattered does not change that. In the fullness of time I believe we will see that it will have strengthened our community and our love for each other. Like generations of our graduates who have sustained their friendships nurtured at King’s for a lifetime, we will pull through this together, despite our premature separation. And we will be together again.

Keep your spirits high, for your sake and the sake of those around you. Stay healthy, support each other and do what you can for others as we all stand together in difficult times.

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

March 26 — New Grade Options for Winter Term

Good evening students,

Dalhousie has just sent a memo regarding grading (below). I would strongly encourage you, in every instance, to work closely with you instructor on developing a plan for successfully completing this term.

The option outlined below will be available to all King’s students in all King’s and Dalhousie courses for this semester. Your inquiries should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at King’s through registrar@ukings.ca.

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President


To our Dal student community, we have heard your questions and concerns. We have developed a process to ensure the protection of your academic record, given the unusual and extreme circumstances of the 2020 winter term. We have come up with a number of academic options for you to consider once you receive your final grades. Once grades have been posted to Dal Online, you will be able to choose one of the following options for each of your courses. If you receive a passing grade, you may:

  • keep final letter grade and earn the credit OR
  • request to have your grade changed to “PASS”, which is GPA neutral and does give you credit for the course. This is a good option if you feel that your final grade is not reflective of your overall performance.

If you do not receive a passing grade, you may:

  • request to have the F grade switched to an “ILL”, which is defined on your transcript as “compassionate reasons, or illness”. It does not give you credit for the course, but also does not negatively affect your GPA.

Depending on your circumstance, there may be other options available to you as well. More information will be made available in the Student Support Brightspace page in the coming days. If you recently withdrew from a course (special note, that the withdrawal deadline was previously extended to March 30, 2020), and wish to change your mind, please consult with an advisor at the Bissett Student Success Centre by emailing advising@dal.ca or calling 902-494- 3077 for next steps. We wish you all the best in the coming weeks as move forward with your classes and exams.

Sincerely,

Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President Academic

March 19 — SPRING/SUMMER TERM

Spring/summer term also moving to remote teaching

We have made the difficult decision to move the spring/summer courses, set to begin in May, to remote (distance) teaching. This means in-person classes will not resume on-campus until the fall. Additional details on spring/summer courses will be shared in the coming weeks.

Please watch your inboxes and the Dahousie and King’s websites for forthcoming information, and please continue to take care.

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

March 19 — ENCAENIA NOTICE FOR GRADUANDS

Dear King’s Graduands of 2020,

You have all worked so hard and are now close to completing your degree. Everyone at King’s was looking forwarding to celebrating this milestone with you at Encaenia on May 29, 2020, and we know that its cancellation is hugely disappointing.

Our graduands—along with the whole King’s Community—look to Encaenia as a symbolic transition point from years of collegial study and living together to the next stage in your journeys. Encaenia is also a time to make fond farewells to friends and teachers, and to celebrate with loved ones. Please know that the decision to cancel it, announced in a joint King’s-Dalhousie communication on March 14 (“Clarifications, Questions and Answers”), while consistent with ongoing government advice concerning public health and wellness in uncertain times, was not made lightly.

Students will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials. More information will be shared with you in the near future about how you can expect to receive your parchments. Rest assured that we are committed to finding a meaningful way to mark Encaenia 2020. In the current circumstances, we simply don’t know when or what form that will take. As soon as we are able to turn to such considerations, we will.

For the present, I wish you all the best in these difficult times. Please take care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

March 19 — Message From the Registrar’s Office

The Registrar’s Office has moved to working remotely as of today, Thursday, March 19. Although this move has happened more quickly than anyone could have anticipated, we are well-equipped to continue to provide support to our students (current and future) and our community.

Registration, Academic and Enrolment Support

Today marks the beginning of the registration period for the 2020/21 academic year for the majority of our students (Journalism students registered yesterday). We are available for email and phone support for registration issues. We are also working with the Advancement Office to provide answers to general registration questions on social media.

We will continue to provide students support as they think through the implications of these challenging circumstances on their academic plans.

Please refer students to registrar@ukings.ca.

Recruitment and Admissions

Tomorrow we will host our scheduled Open House online. Please contact Yolana (yolana.wassersug@ukings.ca) or Ashleigh (ashleigh.baxter@ukings.ca) with any questions.

We are transitioning our normal interactions with applicants and potential applicants to online means. We will continue to accept applications, make decisions and connect with new students throughout this time. Please direct questions to admissions@ukings.ca.

Financial Awards

The College is offering COVID-19 emergency bursaries. Please direct students to julie.green@ukings.ca and catherine.read@ukings for further detail.

We will continue to offer financial awards to current and future students.

Overall

As you are all experiencing in your own roles, this has been a huge transition during a peak time in the academic year. We have been working hard to minimize the disruption in the service we provide but, obviously, it is challenging. I appreciate your ongoing support as we figure this all out.

I would also like to acknowledge the amazing efforts of all members of the Registrar’s Office and our partners across the College who are going above and beyond in their roles during a stressful time for all.

We will be in touch with those of you we work with on various committees regarding the scheduling of online meetings.

Thanks,

Julie Green
Registrar

March 19 — WORKING FROM HOME

Dear Members of King’s Faculty and Staff,

We are reaching out today with details of how we’re working to support you and your work at King’s. Please consult with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have additional questions.

Effective Thursday, March 19, the university remains open. However, in keeping with public health recommendations around social distancing, we are encouraging all faculty and staff who are able to work from home to do so provided that arrangements and approvals are made with department heads, supervisors or their delegates.

  • Employees who are self-isolated but otherwise able to work from home are expected to do so.
  • It is expected that, to the extent possible, anyone working remotely will maintain a normal workload. We recognize this is a challenging time, and certain aspects of our broader community’s response to COVID-19, such as school and daycare closures, could impact the ability of employees to work. Supervisors should make every effort to be flexible in the circumstances.
  • Working from home may require access to appropriate technology. Visit the ITS website (login required) for information about working from home. Speak with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have questions about how best to transfer your workstation into a home environment.
  • Despite our collective best efforts, there is no way a situation such as this can ever truly be business as usual. Consider what work is most essential to continue. Take breaks, look after yourself and stay healthy.
  • Employees who are sick will not be required to provide medical documentation or sick notes. Such leaves will be with pay. This time will not be taken from an employee’s vacation or sick leave bank.
  • Finally, this is a stressful time for many in our community. Remember that our Employee and Family Assistance Program is there for you to access at any time .Do not hesitate to reach out if you need support: 1-800-387-4765, www.workhealthlife.com.

Online Learning

As some employees may wish to use this time as an opportunity to take advantage of online professional development, we wanted to introduce you to the Percipio online learning platform.

Percipio was launched in September 2019 to all Dalhousie employees as a result of change in users expectations demanding simplicity, ease of content discovery, and an aesthetic more like Netflix, Facebook or Spotify. You can customize your learning experience by creating your own learning channels by browsing a rich library of content in multiple disciplines including Leadership Develop, Management Programs, Personal Development, Project Management, IT related certifications and more.

To access Percipio, please click on dal.percipio.com and click the Log in button to use your NetID and password. You can also access Percipio through your smartphone and tablet. Just type Percipio in your Apple Store or Play Store.

We recognize and appreciate the impact of these circumstances on you and your families. Thank you for stepping up, bringing your best under less-than-ideal circumstances, and continuing your vital contributions to our community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

Bonnie Sands
Bursar

March 19 — BUILDING CLOSURES

Further to yesterday’s email, please be advised that buildings on the University of King’s College campus will be locked at the end-of-day Friday, March 20. The closures will begin at 4 p.m., and all buildings will be locked by 7 p.m. The only exception will be Alexandra Hall, which will remain open until Sunday night to facilitate the easy departure of student residents.

Locking the buildings will secure the campus and ensure the safety of the few remaining occupants. Limiting access is also a social distancing measure, essential to the effort of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Security will now be present on campus 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Staff and faculty can request individual access to buildings by calling Security at (902) 430-7938. Please minimize these requests to only essential visits. Your patience and consideration will help keep our University safe.

March 18 — DEAN’S LETTER TO RESIDENCE STUDENTS

Dear Residence Students,

A lot has happened since Friday, when King’s and Dalhousie issued joint directives concerning their respective plans for evacuating residences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time, King’s asked all residence students who were able to move out by noon on March 22 to do so. Many of you made quick arrangements to go home and have already left. Thank you. Some of you have plans to leave in the coming days. And a very small number of you have circumstances that preclude you from moving out.

Accelerate your plans to leave

For those students still mobilizing to move out of residence, King’s urges you to accelerate your plans and leave as soon as you’re able. For example, if you can get an earlier flight, book it now. King’s has emergency bursary funds available if you require financial assistance to assist with increased travel costs. Contact catherine.read@ukings.ca and julie.green@ukings.ca in the Registrar’s Office for more details. Today, Porter Airlines announced its plans to suspend service at the end of Friday. Further restrictions on your mobility could be implemented; for example, for now there is no limit on inter-provincial travel but that may not continue to be the case.

Last Friday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. As of today, there are 12 (9 presumptive, 3 confirmed). Public health officials tell us this will continue to increase and at an accelerated speed. We also know Coronavirus spreads through close contact and the only way to stop it in its tracks is to self-isolate.

Social distancing enforced

Everyone who remains in residence, or comes to campus for any reason, must strictly adhere to public health recommendations around social distancing. This is no longer a recommendation—it is a rule. You must remain a minimum of two metres apart from one another. Do not attend social gatherings. Do not hug your roommate goodbye. For everyone’s health and safety, make social distancing your practice, along with proper hand-washing protocols and not touching your face.

Dalhousie and NSCAD students

Lastly, we are working to support Dalhousie and NSCAD students living at King’s:

  1. NSCAD students: If you can’t leave King’s residence by March 22, contact Joann Farmer at jfarmer@nscad.ca
  2. Dalhousie students: If you can’t leave King’s residence by March 22, and you are an international student, contact international.centre@dal.ca. If your financial situation precludes you from leaving, contact financialemergency@dal.ca.

International students who cannot return home and students unable to leave for extraordinary reasons

Our intention is to help everyone who is unable to leave find a place to live. We will work with you to make that happen.

We understand these are highly unusual and stressful times. Thank you for understanding and working with us to help protect everyone’s health and wellness.

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

William Lahey
President and Vice Chancellor
University of King’s College

March 18 — Message from the Bursar’s Office

Dear Members of the King’s Community,

Please be advised that the Bursar’s Office will be working remotely as of Thursday, March 19. The purpose of this message is to inform you of how we plan to continue our operations during this time.

Payroll

  • Permanent and contract faculty and staff – monthly payroll deposits will continue as well as all employee benefits.
  • Casual employees – department heads and program directors should continue to email timesheets to Dolly as usual at payroll@ukings.ca.
  • A communication will be going out in the near future to department heads and program directors regarding student employees whose anticipated hours of work will have come to an end or are anticipated to do so in the near future because of COVID 19.
  • For all payroll inquiries please email Dolly McIntyre at dolly.mcintyre@ukings.ca or at payroll@ukings.ca.
  • This is a stressful time for many in our community. We would like to remind faculty and staff that King’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is there for you to access at any time. Please reach out if you need support at 1-800-387-4765 or www.workhealthlife.com.

Student Accounts

  • All inquiries regarding student accounts should be directed to Sharlene Salter at accounts@ukings.ca.
  • Students requesting a refund as a result of residence withdrawals should contact accounts@ukings.ca to obtain a banking information form for direct deposit. We are unable to process cheques at this time.
  • Registration holds on outstanding accounts related to winter term fees have been temporarily lifted to allow for registration. These outstanding fees will need to be paid by April 15. If outstanding fees are not paid by April 15, holds will be reinstated and registration in the summer and fall/winter terms may be removed. Please contact accounts@ukings.ca if you have any overdue amount that you are not able to pay before April 15.
  • Payments on student accounts should be paid via online banking. Please refer to the payment guide for more information.

Accounts Payable

  • Purchase orders (POs), Visa transactions, vendor invoices and payments will continue during this time.
  • All vendor payments will be made through electronic funds transfer (EFT). To obtain a vendor EFT form for direct deposit, please contact accountspayable@ukings.ca. We are unable to process cheques at this time. Vendors who wish to continue being paid by cheque should expect a delay in payment.
  • All vendor invoices should be emailed to King’s at accountspayable@ukings.ca since access to physical mail will be limited during this time.
  • All inquiries pertaining to accounts payable should be directed to Peggy MacIsaac at accountspayable@ukings.ca.

Accounts Receivable (i.e., invoicing by King’s to outside parties)

  • Invoicing will continue to be done by Tami Kendell in the Bursar’s Office. Please email the pertinent information to her for the creation of the invoice.
  • For payments, we are recommending that our customers pay King’s via online banking. Tami will communicate this directly to all customers who receive an invoice from King’s.
  • Please forward inquiries to Tami Kendell at tami.kendell@ukings.ca.

Other

  • Year-end will proceed as planned. The year-end deadlines as stated in Jackie Digout’s email of March 3, 2020 (addressed to department heads, program directors and support staff) still apply. The manual cheque deadline of April 6 will still apply but will apply to EFT payments.
  • Please forward all year-end inquiries to Jackie Digout at jackie.digout@ukings.ca. If you are unable to locate the March 3 year-end email, please reach out to Jackie.
  • For all other inquiries please contact Bonnie Sands, Bursar at bonnie.sands@ukings.ca or bursar@ukings.ca.

All email accounts will be actively monitored while voicemail will be checked daily.

These are unprecedented times and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience as we make every effort to operate our office in a “business as usual” manner albeit in a modified fashion.

Stay safe everyone,

Bonnie Sands
Bursar

March 16 - Update from the University of King’s College Library

Starting Wednesday, March 18, the University of King’s College Library will be closed for three weeks. This decision is consistent with that of Dalhousie with regard to Dalhousie libraries. The Dalhousie announcement is available here.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, the King’s Library will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Health and wellness of the King’s Library users and staff is our top priority. The difficult decision to close is based on advice from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam, who has said that our opportunity to “flatten the curve” is now.

We recognize that not every student has a computer or internet access. Dalhousie’s Kellogg Library Learning Commons in the Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB) will be open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday from Wednesday, March 18 onward, to provide access to computers and internet-based scholarly resources for students.

Online services will continue to be available during the closure, including research and reference assistance through LiveHelp.

Over the coming weeks, the Library will be assessing the situation and communicate plans for going forward after that.

Thank you for your patience as we do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please send questions or comments to library@ukings.ca and we’ll reply as soon as we can.

Peter O’Brien, Vice-President
Janet Hathaway, Interim University Librarian and Archivist

March 14 - Updated Registration Dates & Times

As noted in the latest university-wide update #5 regarding COVID-19, registration for returning students has been adjusted to better support our campus community as we transition to temporary remote (distance) delivery of courses.

Registration will now open on Wednesday March 18, 2020.  The registration dates and times for your specific faculty are listed below. Please refer to Dal Online for your specific assigned registration time under “Check Your Registration Status.”

Updated Registration Dates & Times

March 18 at 7:30am: Returning and transfer students in the Faculties of Agriculture, Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Health, Graduate Studies and Journalism

March 19 at 6:00am, 8:00am and 10:00am: Returning and transfer students in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Computer Science, Management and Science

The Registrar’s Offices at both Dalhousie and King’s are here to support you with all matters related to registration (e.g. requiring an instructor’s approval, online overrides, systems errors, and general inquiries). We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.

March 14 - Clarification, questions and answers

PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE IN FULL. Also, please check your university email regularly in the days and weeks ahead. While we will continue to update our websites (dal.ca/coronavirus, ukings.ca/coronavirus), the latest news will be shared with you via email.

We’ve received many questions since our universities’ communication yesterday afternoon. We don’t have answers to all of them yet, but there are others we can address or clarify with what we know at this point. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation to ensure that, despite these disruptions, our students will be able to complete their academic term. We will be reassessing and evaluating the situation continuously and issuing regular communication updates.

Students

Courses

  • To be absolutely clear, in-person classes, in-person labs and in-person exams will not resume this term. Any course delivery will occur through temporary remote (distance) teaching – in most cases, this will mean online delivery through tools such as Brightspace.
  • Instruction will be paused next week (March 16-20). This is to allow instructors time to develop their plan for distance teaching through to the end of the semester. Note that instruction in existing online courses will also be paused next week to allow students and instructors time to focus on transitioning to the new circumstances.
  • Instructors will be confirming plans for distance course continuation and exams with students by Wednesday, March 18. As noted, in most cases, this will be online, but there will likely be some variation. After receiving these instructions, students requiring accommodation should contact their instructor.
  • Students should expect instruction to resume (via distance) on Monday, March 23.
  • Clinical placements, research activities, co-op work placements and King’s journalism workshops (online only) are continuing.

Fall Registration

  • Registration for returning Dalhousie students will go ahead next week as planned, but will open on Wednesday, March 18 instead of Monday, March 16. This is being moved to better support our campus community at this time. More detailed information will be shared with you from the Registrar’s Office.

Residence and campus buildings/services

  • Residence remains open for those who are unable to leave (for reasons such as international travel or personal circumstances). Dining halls also remain open.
  • Those students who are able to move out should do as soon as possible — by no later than March 22. Those who do will receive a prorated refund (room and meal plan) deposited to their student account. Please contact the Residence Office if you have further questions.
  • Campus buildings remain open and operating. This includes recreation facilities such as Dalplex, university libraries and learning commons spaces, Student Health and Wellness, Registrar’s offices and Student Accounts, etc. Please note that hours of operation may vary from normal hours in order to accommodate changing circumstances. Check online hours if you have any questions.

Student inquiries

  • We know students have many questions about this situation. We are in the process of setting up dedicated phone and email support lines to help answer your inquiries and will share these contacts with you early next week.
  • Details (including FAQs) will be updated regularly at dal.ca/coronavirus and ukings.ca/coronavirus

All university community members

Events

  • As stated yesterday, all non-essential university events are cancelled or postponed. At this point, this is in effect until June 1 at a minimum. Do not book university events until further notice as we continue to monitor the situation.
  • This cancellation, regrettably, includes Dalhousie Convocation and King’s Encaenia ceremonies scheduled for May 2020. Students will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials. More information will be shared with prospective graduates in the near future about how they can expect to receive their parchments.

Travel and self-isolation

  • As stated yesterday, all those who have travelled internationally or from any provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. We are consulting with external partners (including Public Health) on these parameters. If they change, we will let you know. Please note these parameters are effective as of time of notification (5 p.m., Friday, March 13)
  • As a reminder, all non-essential university travel is suspended. Do not book university travel. This suspension will be until June 1 at a minimum.

At this time, additional questions can be sent to COVID19@dal.ca and we will get back to you as best we can. We will continue to update information, including FAQs, at dal.ca/coronavirus and ukings.ca/coronavirus.

Please continue to take care of yourselves. Look out for your own health, and also the health of others. We will have more updates for you next week.

Sincerely,

Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President Academic
Dalhousie University

Ian Nason
Vice-President Finance and Administration
Dalhousie University

Peter O’Brien
Vice-President
University of King’s College

March 13 - Message from President Lahey

Dear students,
You just received an email jointly sent by Dalhousie University’s President Deep Saini and myself. Please read it through to the end.

In addition,

  • Details of remote course delivery will be arranged by your professors
  • FYP students will hear directly from FYP interim director Dr. Susan Dodd
  • If you live in residence, you will soon receive a detailed procedural email from the Dean of Students, Katie Merwin
  • If you have academic advising questions, contact the Registrar’s Office by emailing registrar@ukings.ca
  • Existing student employment will continue
  • Students requiring an emergency bursary can find out more by emailing catherine.read@ukings.ca or julie.green@ukings.ca

The university remains open including the library, computer labs, gym, chapel and Prince Hall (subject, possibly, to reduced hours). The Registrar’s Office will be open this weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Updates will be posted to ukings.ca/coronavirus.

Your health and safety continue to be our top priority. Whatever questions or concerns you may have, please bring them forward.

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice Chancellor

P: (902) 422-1271
C: (902) 456-4764
E: william.lahey@ukings.ca

March 13 - Coordinated response to COVID-19 from King’s and Dalhousie’s Presidents

In the interest of ensuring alignment between our affiliated institutions, we are sending this update jointly to our respective Dalhousie and King’s communities in Halifax, Truro and elsewhere. Please review this entire message carefully as there are several new developments.

Over the past several weeks, we have been preparing diligently for the impacts of COVID-19. We know our community is large and complex, with significant mobility of our people. Given the current public health situation, and in consultation with both Nova Scotia Public Health and government officials as well as our other postsecondary partners, it is time for our institutions to take concrete measures to encourage social distancing and limit the spread of the virus. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is highest priority, and it is vital we do our part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. These measures reflect our unique circumstances for Dalhousie and King’s. We recognize the situation for other institutions may be different and those institutions may need to respond differently.

We have taken many measures to date and are announcing additional measures today in response to the latest information from Public Health. We ask your patience as we work through additional details and decisions and will share more next week.

In-person classes suspended next week

In-person classes and labs for Dalhousie and King’s students will be suspended next week (March 16-20) as a preventative measure to increase social distancing and allow instructors time to shift to alternative means of teaching.

We are working to ensure that, despite these disruptions, students will be able to complete their academic year. Our intention is to begin transitioning classes into a temporary remote teaching environment (such as online, etc.) for the remainder of the term. We expect classes will be suspended at least a week before they recommence. Instructors will receive further instructions through their Deans or Program Directors in the coming days. In-person exams will not take place on campus. More details to come next week. We will be consulting with CONSUP (Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents) and NS Public Health on next steps.

Clinical placements, research activities and co-op work placements are continuing.

Residences — those who can move out are encouraged do so

Residences remain open. We request those students who are able to move out to do so by Sunday, March 22. Please be assured that anyone who cannot return home for reasons such as international travel restrictions, serious personal reasons, or university obligations will continue to be provided accommodation. Those who move out by March 22 will receive a prorated refund (room and meal plan) deposited to their student account. Please note, for students’ continued safety we reserve the right to move students to another residence. Students in residence can expect to receive additional information by email shortly.

University remains open

University offices and buildings remain open. Our decision to suspend classes represents a measure to reduce large gatherings of people in line with public health advice. Research operations will continue.

Further information on HR procedures for employees are being provided to leaders across the university shortly. Please consult with your director, department chair or supervisor for more information.

Cancellation of events and activities

In line with Public Health advice, non-essential university-sanctioned events must be cancelled or postponed at this time. The Dalhousie Presidential Installation (March 30) is also cancelled and may be rescheduled to a later date. The situation with campus events will be reassessed as we go forward.

All non-essential university travel suspended, self-isolation for travellers

All non-essential student, faculty and staff travel for university purposes is now suspended. Any exceptions must be approved by the Provost, or in the case of King’s, the Vice-President.

In line with Public Health advice, all those who have travelled internationally or from any provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. For employees, this time will not be taken from an employee’s vacation or sick leave bank; employees are expected to work from home, where possible.

Final thoughts

A reminder that the Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Public Health remain the best source for up-to-date public information on this rapidly changing situation. More information related to Dalhousie can be found at dal.ca/coronavirus and related to King’s at ukings.ca/coronavirus. In the coming days we will continue to update our Frequently Asked Questions on those sites to address common concerns.

These are exceptional times, unprecedented in the modern history of our institutions. We know these measures represent a significant disruption to our operations. No aspect of our mission is unaffected. We are, truly, all in this together.

To our students… we are doing everything we can to limit the impact on your studies, and we are here to support you. We know this is a stressful time. Practise empathy with your peers and reach out if you need support of any kind.

To our faculty, staff and instructors… your commitment to our students and their academic experience is what makes Dalhousie and King’s such great institutions. We know that commitment remains strong. We’re here for what you need in making this difficult situation work for our students.

To everyone in our shared community… Ours is a strong community — and that strength is grounded in our compassion for one another. Now is the time to draw on that strength as we come together and prepare to come through this situation even stronger and more compassionate. Be kind to each other.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor
Dalhousie University

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of King’s College